Wednesday, October 6, 2010

girl's best friend.

mornin', life. i've been awake since before my alarm went off at 8:30. my dogs said so. it's payback for kicking them out of my bed. when i only had 2 dogs, they slept in my bed...sprawled across most of it, the brown one curled up with his head on the pillow, the slightly brachycephalic one snoring like a grown man, both at some point ending up upside down, hind legs flopped to the sides, doggie private parts in all their glory. i would be curled up in the round-about 12 inches of bed they allowed me. it was an unspoken deal: you give us the human bed, we let you sleep as long as you want. we've had lots of these deals, now that i think about it: you pet us, both of us at once, or we bark. you walk us over here to sniff this invisible thing in the grass, or we pull you there anyway. you let us dig this hole to china in your yard, or we'll lay our noses in your lap and look super sad all day while you try to work. they sure know their way around a bribe. freakin' four-legged mobsters.

when joker came along, i took back my bed. can't say i sleep much better, but at least i'm not washing the bed linens 3 times a week. kaiser and phaedra have taught him well, though. two months in and he already knew the nose in the lap trick, lookin' up at me with those "please love me" anyone could have been mean to him is beyond me. he's sweet as pie. lives for affection. he couldn't have ended up in a better place for it, too. kaiser and phaedra have been with me for a decade, and i've never stopped hugging and kissing them. my dogs have showed me, in the ever-so-teeniest way, how parents must feel. i get why my mom and dad have never stop hugging and kissing me. when you love something that much, you can't help yourself, even when the object of your affection is wiggling its way out of your arms, even when it makes your life so damn complicated.

when i first took joker in, i figured adding one more wouldn't be that hard. turns out i feel like it's three 50+-pound dogs versus one 100-lb girl. i can't keep up financially or physically or logistically. i have always said that my dogs have taught me a lot about love, and maybe joker is doing just that. except this time the lesson is about letting go. that's part of love, after all — the part i'm the worst at. if i had a grain of sand for every time i've been told i'm a glutton for punishment, i could build my own beach. things always work out for me, it just takes longer than the universally agreed-upon period of time — there is one of those, isn't there? hmm.

lately i have started to wonder if what's best for me and what's best for joker are in fact not one in the same. so now i struggle with making a real effort to find him a home. except every time i think of it, the tears are quick to follow. it just feels wrong to give him up, because that's not the example i grew up with or the path i've taken — you don't give up just because it's hard...right? not exactly. knowing when to say i've given enough is one of the hardest decisions ever.

this may be the first time i've been truly aware that love is selfish. you can't hold on just because your heart tells you so. my comfort in all of this is knowing i've gotten through letting go before, in situations i thought i'd never get over. i always did. when i'm not mad at myself, i'm pretty damn proud of me. i realize that, just as my heart can trip me up, so can my eyes: i've always looked at people who seem so untouched by their emotions, and felt envious of them. they never cry, they never talk about what hurts them, they never allow themselves to be vulnerable. i've looked at them and thought i should be like that. except i don't really want to be, nor do i think there's much strength to be found in declaring yourself the winner of battles you've never allowed yourself to fight.

maybe joker will stay with us, maybe he won't. my biggest concern has to be about him being loved, not about me loving him. lesson (being) learned...

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